Episode 18

Tania Wu ·  From Literature PhD dropout to 5-million dollar real estate portfolio (and back)

“So growing up like many Asians, my belief was, I'm going to get into the top school and get the best grades and then get the best job and I can have a great life. In many ways, growing up in Asia, the mentality was similar. Except that I actually was not very practical at all.”

Tania is a real estate investor, broker, property manager and author. She came to the US at the age of 20, after 2 years of college in Taiwan, to study English literature at the University of Texas. While early in her PhD program at UC San Diego, she discovered her passion for financial freedom after taking a few investment courses. She dropped out of her PhD program to pursue a real estate career and invest in multifamily properties in the Greater Boston area. She quickly became the top selling agent at her firms and started her own property management company to manage her and her clients’ properties. Within four years of entering real estate, she had accumulated 5 million worth of real estate. Her first book, half memoir, half historical fiction based on her experiences from Asia to America, will be published in spring 2020. 


An avid traveler and having lived in Taiwan, California, Texas and Massachusetts, she has an international perspective on the Greater Boston Real Estate Market. Tania is an active member of the Top Broker Network, National Association of Realtors, and the Asian Real Estate Association of America. She is also the President of the Taiwan Youth Chamber of Commerce in New England, an organization committed to providing entrepreneurship education and networking for young professionals. Her real estate team has a large network of contractors, stagers, photographers, and mortgage brokers. Her online real estate platforms have 10,000+ followers.


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Podcast Transcript

Tania Wu

Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, my name is Bryan and my name is Maggie. We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.

Bryan: (00:00:28) We have Tania today on the podcast and we’re super excited to have her. Tanya is a real estate investor, broker property manager, and author who came to the United States at the age of 20, after two years in Taiwan to study English literature at the University of Texas. While doing her Ph.D. at UCLA, she discovered her passion for financial freedom. After taking a few investment courses, she dropped out of her Ph.D. program to pursue a real estate career and invest in multifamily properties in the greater Boston area. Tania, welcome to the show!

Tania: (00:01:03) Thank you, Bryan, for the lovely introduction and I also wanted to thank my friend Christina Qi [AHN Podcast Episode 3]i for connecting us. I’m very excited about the Asian Hustle Network. I watch a lot of the podcasts myself and a lot of the comments and posts and stuff like that. 

I’m very impressed with the rapid growth of this space with network and just connecting entrepreneurs from all over the world. I think it’s very exciting and empowering for Asians from all different countries and different areas to share their experiences. A little bit about myself I am originally from Taiwan and so I was never the kind of person that was like trained to be in business, or my parents were like regular, like 9 to 5 people. My mom was a teacher and my dad started off as an engineer and later went into sales, but then he was very much like a corporate kind of career.

So growing up like many Asians, my belief was okay, I’m going to go through the top school and get the best grades and then get the best job and I can have a great life and stuff like that. I think that in many ways, growing up in Asia, like that was pretty much a similar mentality. Except that I actually was not very practical at all. Like my dream was to become a writer like growing up and, that’s why I started English literature. I decided in my sophomore year when I was in Taiwan, I actually go to the most competitive high school and college in Taiwan I’m not sure how many of you are kind of familiar with the education system in Asia, but it’s very like half fro and very much like study, study, study and why you have this like national entrance exam offer only once a year.

If you don’t do well like you have to repeat the whole year and take the same thing again. So I come from that system that was really disillusioned. I had this dream that I wanted to come to America and then my kids can have an easier, as I might in my mind, I think living in America is have this high school soap opera kind of image.  

I was like  I want my kids to have that lifestyle. So yeah, my sophomore year, I wanted to transfer to America. I want to have the American college experience. So I actually had the college experience in Taiwan and college experience in America. After I came here, I really had a great time. The first two years were kind of hard, like kind of transitioning.

I would say would have been easier if I came as a freshman, then I can, like, I was a junior when I came here and then it’s like, Oh, I have to apply for grad school right away, like in my junior year. So I thought it was like a lot of transitions, but at the same time, I’m very grateful because I was able to have the college experience in both countries. I have an academic mindset pretty much until like around age 22, age 23, I was in my Ph.D. like that. I got into like straight out of college and I was like, I feel like there was a disconnect between the things that I was learning in kind of the practical skills in the real world. 

So I realized, oh if I did the numbers there are like 4,000 people competing for one spot in academia for like studying English literature. I still had a really bad accident at a time and so it’s pretty, so I decided to pay for some investment courses. Then I was really fascinated by like the compound interest, the concept of compound interest, and how you use the money to like work for you like money works for you 24 hours. 

We only have so many hours, we have to sleep and eat and there’s so much limitation to what we can do, but then by leveraging like the compound interest and we can do so much more. So that’s when I decided to look into like different kinds of investments and decided that real estate was the most powerful and easiest way for average people to accumulate net worth and kind of turn their life around because of the opportunity to leverage our down payment, to buy more properties in magnified the return. 

So I decided to drop out of my Ph.D. program in my second year and then just get my real estate license. I would say I live in Texas and California and then moved to Boston and so kind of have like various perspectives and I myself enjoy travels a lot. So I like every time I go to a new country, like whether it’s Europe or different parts of Asia, like check all the real estate markets and those areas. 

Bryan: (00:05:54) We trace it back a bit. What did your parents say when you decided to drop out of your Ph.D. to your real estate license?

Maggie: (00:06:00) Yeah, because I’m assuming none of your family members are in real estate, right? Or are they, did they like know very little about investing in real estate or in the field in general? So what did they have to say when you were like, okay, I’m going to drop out of my Ph.D. to pursue in real estate?

Tania: (00:06:15) Honestly, my dad was not a typical Asian that like very beginning, he was like, “oh yeah, you want to study English Literature, go for it.” Like you should pursue a passion and actually when I wanted to drop out and say, I’m going to do something, he’s like, “well don’t give up so easily.” 

So yeah, I think my parents were kind of surprised, but  I think that they were very supportive. Because they always believe in whatever I’m really passionate about. Like there’s no way like kind of dissuading from doing that. So growing up, I’ve always been very intense, like in pursuing the things that I wanted and actually coming to America. 

My parents didn’t want me to come to America at all. So I actually took the SATs secretly without telling my parents in my sophomore year. I probably to like, oh, Taiwan is great. Why do you have to go to America? I wasn’t. But the whole family sits together like, cause of the Asian ideas like the family is like really close and stuff like that. So I think it was actually very hard for my parents that I, I came to America, but I just feel like it’s kind of a calling that I want to build a different life and I believe that’s really sort of at the core of a lot of Asian entrepreneurs, is this desire may be certain dissatisfaction like the corporate system or like some race or, but I think that nor should is really a powerful tool for many people to kind of like overcome all kinds of social and cultural and financial barriers to achieve their dreams.

Bryan: (00:07:55) Definitely just out of curiosity too, you mentioned earlier your dad had a perception of what career should a woman take and we’re kind of curious about that. I mean, has there been any sort of barriers or any, any, any situations inside of your real estate career that you felt like you were at a disadvantage or no one took you seriously? Like you have those situations like that where I don’t want to say like, like this, because you’re a woman but obviously, real estate is a very male-dominated field and what your dad told you to, like, what are you, what kind of challenges do you face in real estate as in the real, like a really prominent, strong real estate women? Like, well, how did you overcome that?

Maggie: (00:08:37)  I think Bryan brings up a great point. There is a glass ceiling or the bamboo ceiling; they call it in the Asian culture, right? And I think it doesn’t apply to only corporations, it applies to industries, every type of industry. So very curious, did you ever have any instances you did notice some things that happened to you because you were a woman or a member of a minority as an Asian?

Tania: (00:09:04)  I think these are good questions. I will say that from my standpoint, I don’t feel like there’s some specifically discrimination, like at least in the real estate sales industry in the real estate investment world discrimination against being Asian or a female, but there’s, I think discrimination against like young people, cause like sometimes like people, they might feel like, Oh, you look really young.

I think I experienced it more in my earlier years. I don’t think I have much of that these days, but probably because I’m getting old now, but when I was first getting into it I did feel that sometimes people feel like am really young and stuff like that. How am I been doing this? Once you prove that you have that experience level and track record and you like, oh wow, you do know a lot of cool things and people actually become more impressed with that. I think that that’s one of the wonderful things about like the real estate industry is that I think that there’s no discrimination against you like your accent or your gender and stuff like that. I think that because real estate is a kind of world where you’re hired based on your knowledge.

And when you close a deal, people are looking at the numbers, people looking at what you’re saying, and the property and things like that. So I actually think that even the fact that I have a foreign accent and sometimes I think it asked to like some sort of advantage, cause like in the Boston market like sometimes there’s a perception that foreign Asians are like like come from rich families or like cash-rich or something. So like when you go to open house or like people, oh yeah, sure. You know, very excited, like in the real estate industry, there’s probably like putting Asians on a pedestal. I thought was, as I liked that because I feel that in the corporate world, like you heard stories all the time, like Asians getting passed over for opportunities, but in the real estate’s probably the opposite.

And I will say that females probably have an advantage in terms of negotiations. Because like we’re usually like, well time can just be more tactful or people would just think people kind of like let down that guard, like not really as aggressive when they negotiate with females. So I think that there are different ways in which we could work with the gender dynamics to our advantage. That’s saying that males don’t have advantages, but they just have a different dynamic that they can work with. I think that I like real estate that we can in real estate, we can just kind of work with different things and different personal attributes to really

Maggie: (00:11:38) I’m glad that you are able to see it from that perspective because I think that not a lot of people can see it from that perspective and you can see those advantages and opportunities that you can possibly get as a woman, as an Asian woman. 

Bryan: (00:11:53) I’m curious too about like, when you first got into real your real estate career, they say the statistic is, but the dropout rate for your first year of being a real estate agent is super high because there’s a lot of work upfront. It’s not as easy as you think it is. Like, how would you overcome these first challenges, and what was your first business transaction like? And you’re like, Oh wow. I did it. This is a career that I want to go get into kick-butt out of here, get to the top, which you are at the top. What was that first stepping stone light like going to real estate?

Tania: (00:12:23) I feel like in my earlier years I sort of leveraged like that probably goes into the idea that having international perspective or background experiences could be really helpful. When I got first started in the business, I leveraged a lot of the cause I went to the most prestigious university in Taiwan. So I leveraged the alumni network actually that there were alumni from overworld and a lot of those in Boston. So at first, I leveraged those connections and there are a lot of people who did really well that they invest in real estate for decades, and the bill low net worth. So I’m like I help these people buy more properties and for some buyers, a lot of them, when they came to Boston, they were like Tania went to the same school as I and Tania are also from Taiwan, Tania.

So I think there’s a lot of that like in the earlier years but then as I grew in my career, my clientele actually became very diverse. I worked with many non-Asians, like in the later years. So I think that probably on the lucky side, like for, for me, cause I know that a lot of real estate agents, when they first started out, maybe they didn’t necessarily have those connections, but I would definitely encourage others that if they want to go into real estate, try to look into the unique niche that they have and turn those niche into like their sort of baseline clientele. Then from there just build more and more experiences and go from there.

Bryan: (00:13:55) That’s really good advice,  like people just starting out into real estate as well, like leverage network that you have already and that’s exactly what you did. You reach into your alumni network and really establish your name. You did a kick-butt job and you started diversifying. That’s a great tip for people just starting out as a real estate agent, let’s help them see your investment side. At what point inside your real estate career did beat you. Did you start thinking should start buying some investment properties and what was the process like for you?

Tania: (00:14:26) Yeah. So I think after I started taking investment courses, I just had this idea to buy investment properties. So I started investing in real estate in 2015. That was actually when I bought my first home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where is Harvard, MIT is located. So like the market was super-hot. I mean, it still is. But at the time I was like I shouldn’t invest more in this area because I saw the value of my own home go out a lot. So I actually because I also have a lot of savings and stuff like that working in real estate and I just decided, okay, I’m going to refinance my home and, and then put towards the down payment of the next home. So it kind of went from there.

So I refinanced a few times and then the like, and then afterward I started buying multifamily cause I was thinking you can leverage the higher union account, same roof, and then the numbers will go better that way. That was kind of how I started.

Bryan: (00:15:30) Wow. That was awesome to hear.

Maggie: (00:15:32) Yeah. I’m very curious. Did you, when you decided to go into real estate did you have any sort of setbacks in terms of your mindset like, Oh, I’m going to go just 100% into real estate, or did you, were you like already getting your real estate license while you were doing your Ph.D.?

Bryan: (00:15:56) Yeah, what sparked the real estate? How did the idea come about?

Maggie: (00:16:01) Yeah because for AHN,  we have a lot of members who want to be aspiring entrepreneurs, but they’re very afraid to make that first jump, right? They’re either in the situation where they’re thinking about dropping out of school and going into their side business or they are thinking about leaving their nine to five and going into their side business full time. So I’m very curious about your mindset at that time and what was your mentality at that time? Or if you were just like very confident and I’m just going to put 100% into real estate and just leave my Ph.D. behind.  

Tania: (00:16:36) Yeah. I feel like when I first started, I dropped out and I just took some time off. I decided to just study for my license and I think got my license within a couple of weeks, but it was definitely scary, I have at that time and I knew that the real estate agent career had a very high failure rate in the beginning and so my said was it’s not like buying a franchise where you dropping down 300 thousand dollars and being a real estate agent is technically I just spend 500 dollars getting that license and that’s it. And if I failed I would just try different, different businesses anyways. So I feel like the stake was not very high and also I was really young at the time. So, for me it was scary. But at the same time, I also feel like I knew what I was getting into. I decided to take that risk. It wasn’t easy because I think that for many agents starting out, like obviously, they have to have lots to prove. So they have to like did, this did that. But at the same time, I think I was also lucky in the sense that I was also buying my first home and I bought my investment property. And so people saw that you actually preaching like you’re preaching what you teaching. So I’m sorry, the English expression didn’t say it right. But anyway, just the idea that you’re kind of doing what you’re sharing with people.

Tania: (00:18:04) I don’t think there’s any sort of, that’s why I mess it up, and actually later, since I’m working on my memoir, which is going to be published next year, I can probably read the first chapter for my book where I share my experience, like buying my first apartment building. So you guys can be one of my first readers.

Maggie: (00:18:25) I would love to learn more about your book. Can you talk a little bit more about the book and what type of stories and what we can expect from the book and when that’s going to be coming out?

Tania: (00:18:38) Yeah, I received a lot of questions about my career. People ask me, why did you go into real estate? And actually, you were a former literature major. Like that’s such a huge difference between there’s such a huge difference between literature and real estate.

So why did you do that? And because I got asked these questions so many times that I started to think, okay, maybe it’s time to turn this idea into a book. People might find that interesting and actually, I haven’t said like, even my journey to America itself, like when I first came to America, I was in Texas, which is like the exact opposite of Taipei, which is my hometown where nobody like very few people drives in Taipei. Cause like the public transportation system was so good. Like when you, I live on the 13th floor, apartment complex and many units. When I want to get my hair done, I just go downstairs. There’s like a hair salon downstairs and I just, okay, I’m going to get my hair done at 2:00 PM and take the elevator and go up and go back upstairs. And then downstairs like grocery stores.

Then the park was like three minutes, walk away, away from my home and then Southern was like three minutes’ walk, as well as everything, is I super close and post office and everything you possibly need. It’s like within that five-minute walk of everything, it’s very dense. So like when I came to Texas, I was like, oh, because I didn’t know how to drive. So I was like, Oh, I couldn’t get anywhere. So I have to like all my friends like driving around blasting their country music, like various like singing festivals and stuff like that. 

So it was kind of an interesting cultural experience and because I was an English major, almost obviously had a pretty bad accent at the time and most of my classmates were white. So I just thought, oh, I was different from everyone. But then at the same time, I feel like, because in the sense I feel lucky to come to America as an adult because I didn’t go through like sort of the younger, like in elementary school, all people like a lot of Asian American friends told me, Oh, when I was in elementary school, when people make squinty eyes or like, whatever, just stuff like that.

And for me, I’m sure people think funny things about me too when I had like pretty bad accent. They didn’t say anything about it because they were all adults in college. So luckily I was spared from that kind of taunting. So I actually decided I’m going to market myself as this cool Asian kid who’s different from everyone.

I just thought it was interesting and professors like you were very interesting. He had a very interesting perspective, like a paper cause like you’re growing up in Taiwan, we study a lot about Confucianism and light different Chinese classical literature. So like just kind of approaching literature from my different perspective and stuff like that. 

Like when I couldn’t finish my assignment, because when I couldn’t keep up with the heavy readings in English and that is like, okay, first-class, which I’m sure a lot of people do, but yeah, I love my experiences like Taiwan to America and how I ultimately came to assert myself because when I first came to America, I want to be an Asian American. I want to lose my accent and I really hated my accent. But then after over 10 years in America, I still had an accent. What actually is time to just accept the fact that I have an accent, but it’s great because it’s kind of like a signature, it was something and I’m from Taiwan and that’s an opportunity to tell stories. So I started to ascend myself like pretty much a few years after I came to America and I realized that we’re all different in different voices and different perspectives.

Bryan: (00:22:24) Yeah. I really liked the fact that you are taking more pride in your Asian heritage, like the fact that you’re like this is a cool thing. That’s I just feel that I feel like that’s how a lot of us are feeling right now. Like it’s cool to be Asian right now. And we’re no longer ashamed of our heritage, we actually want to own up to and learn more about it. It’s becoming more mainstream, which is a great thing, which is the reason why we’re pushing priorities podcast is to happen because you want to amplify voices like yourself and that is successful. It is our time to make a difference.

Maggie: (00:22:55) Yeah and very similar to your story. I think a lot of Asian Americans feel the same way that they were ashamed to be Asian when they were younger. Asians around the world, they were ashamed to be Asian, but it’s more so accepted in Asia obviously. But now that we’re grown up, it’s like, we are proud to be Asian and I’m so glad you see it in a way where you’re proud to have your accent. I think it’s really important for us to have, those traits and those characteristics that define who we are.

Bryan: (00:23:27) Yeah, definitely. I love the fact that you combine the best of both worlds. You spend a lot of time studying English and now you’re using you, making your use of it. You’re using your English abilities, to write your book on real estate. And I love that. I love when that happens too because I feel like as an entrepreneur like all your past experiences, you’ll draw upon them to get to the next level. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past. It’ll come in handy one day, you know. So I really love that. You’re combining both worlds and I guess for like the next segment of the podcast, we do want to talk a little more about your real estate investments and what kind of tips and advice can you give all of us. Can you kind of walk us through some of the investments that you make, like some of the numbers we’re looking at per se, how do you dictate labs, the neighborhood that you want to invest in, and what’s like ROI and IRR that you’re typically looking for instead of apartment investing?

Tania: (00:24:21) Yeah. I want to say that it really depends on the person’s goals because a lot of people go into real estate. They look at cash flow because they want to retire. They want to make sure that after you paid that say 20, 25%, or 20% is the typical amount that people put down. A lot of people want to cash flow a certain number after the mortgage is paid off. And, but then those properties tend to be like in the low, in the higher cap rate and lower demand areas and where someone’s as higher risk profile in terms of the kind of tenants you get, because a lot of times and the reason why it’s cheap it’s because it’s lower demand. So that’s also one thing to consider. And whereas like in Boston, like in the more desirable neighborhoods where you’re going to see bidding wars and then multiple offers, even during COVID, like March and April, I was getting like multiple offers for a lot of properties that I was working with. I was actually surprised myself. I was like, oh, come on. This is COVID while we still having the like all these light bidding wars, then in those areas, you’re lucky to get like even 45% cap rate, but then at the same time as also lower risk profile, because like when you see that even during COVID and it’s still getting pretty steady rent and the kind of tenants that you work with, tend to be people who go to Harvard or MIT or like young professionals and they’ll see areas then also still have like people buying in those neighborhoods and you’re going to get low cap rate. 

Bryan: (00:25:56) Can we know what is low, a cap rate, or what is the cap rate? Can you explain to them?

Tania: (00:26:00) Yeah, the cap rate is the rent ratio and the purchase price. So I am also minus the, uh, profit management expense and the, uh, various expense and stuff like that.

Bryan: (00:26:16) Okay. Yeah. That’s, that’s cool. That’s pretty cool. How do you start picking the property that you want to invest in you’re absolutely right. The property is usually a higher cash and cash return or higher ROI, more than likely it’s going to be in A, B, C or D neighborhood, which, or you listeners that don’t know what that is. That means neighborhoods that are, are most desirable for investors Uh, but if you offer the best returns, you have to keep in mind that these neighborhoods, even though they offer really good returns, your repair costs, will be very high, and frequent. So it’s something you have to be well aware of, but yeah,

Tania: (00:26:58) I want to share, so I have a friend, like in his seventies, actually one of my early mentors, he like a ball like millions of dollars real estate like from when he was younger. And now they’re all like tens of millions of dollars’ worth. And so he shared with me that in the early years, he didn’t actually know which areas were going to appreciate most. So he misses a lot in the sort of why you call the C and D neighborhoods and a lot also in those sort of class, a class B neighborhoods. And, and what he found was that over the course of 30 years, the ones that were in those class C and D and neighborhoods because of a lawsuit he had to deal with, and the tenants is not paying rent and stuff like that, even this is kind of like a cautionary tale.

Beause a lot of times the seller side, they sell it pretty well like, oh 8% cap rate, 90% capital leave market, like magically. Very amazing. But I’m actually the, a lot of times you’re working with a core and in Massachusetts pro-tenant states. So it’s difficult to start the eviction process if the tenants don’t pay rent. So he actually found that over the course of 30 years, the ones in the class A and B neighborhoods have appreciated and had the most return. 

Bryan: (00:28:23) Yeah. It’s a huge discussion of his own, own rights.

Maggie: (00:28:27) are you currently investing only in the Boston area or are you investing in out-of-state properties as well?

Tania: (00:28:32) Yeah, so currently I, I only invest in the Cambridge area, but I actually like looking at neighborhoods from many parts of the world, like before I invested in each property. And also obviously whenever I go to Taiwan, I look at the properties there as well, different areas and always taking on new opportunities. The reason not that I discount all the neighborhoods is because I actually think there are many markets in the world that’re worth looking at. But personally, the reason why I invested in my local market was that I build my property management team. And I decided that I could leverage the proximity of the properties, in terms of manage, management and also managing my client’s property. So I decided to combine those and the bill. 

Bryan: (00:29:22) I love your resourcefulness. You’re always building on top of things that you gained you’re off the ground, on your journey.

Maggie: (00:29:27) Yeah. I mean, so on top of being a real estate investor or broker as an author while we’re on the topic now, you’re also a property manager, and would love to know how you got into property management and what that process looks like.

Tania: (00:29:42) Yeah. So I think property management is critical for anybody who aspires to be a landlord. And I always encourage my clients that if you’re buying your first one or two properties, it’s best to manage it yourself actually. And the reason for that is because then you get to learn the process and understand what it’s like to work with contractors and how much things cost and what it’s like to work with the tenants directly and how to manage those relationships. And so I encourage people to build their own property management, like my system, and when people start to build more and more units that I think that it’s great to kind of combine our resources, leverage economy of skill, like, okay. Yeah. Obviously, we don’t have time to manage 10 units, 20 units, or 30 units. So we start to build what we call like departments or just different like division of labors and the people in charge of like this part of the property management or like, like kind of pass waters or different things where like least managers and stuff like that. So yeah, I think that property management is actually a good skill for anybody who wants to be a landlord, and yeah, like in terms of cutting costs and those are learning the basics.

Bryan: (00:30:57) Yeah. That’s awesome to hear. We understand that you do have a real estate portfolio of $5 million. That’s really impressive. What does this portfolio comprise, are they all apartments? Are they single-family houses? Are they, like you mentioned before the houses around the world, like how are you breaking these, your portfolio down?

Tania: (00:31:19) Yeah. So actually when I first started out, because I sort of started in the traditionally the higher price market, the market of Cambridge, I actually only bought a condo. So I bought two condos in my life, 2015 and 2016. And then once I have more capital and resources, also the landlord’s history started, and I bought my first apartment building as a free unit, a free family in Cambridge. And actually right after I bought that building, they knocked down this like library and then build a really large library in those schools and office buildings and stuff like that. So it was a rapidly developing neighborhood. It’s like double-digit appreciation and then after that, I also continued to work with Asia and obviously like various, gigs and then followed my second free family also in Cambridge actually that was like a five-minute walk from where I lived.

So I think that I, early on, I had a more conservative mindset that I wanted to kind of consolidate the properties, but I definitely, I’m definitely open to like expanding, like towards different partisans, like diversification and stuff like that. But I just feel like early on, I, I had this idea that the first 5 million should be like in the sort of conservative and then you have your base and then once you have that then can works for as a what you call it a class C or D, but like definitely just different levels of risk mitigations at different stages of our careers.

 Bryan: (00:32:52) I agree. I think if I can own a couple of units in Cambridge, I’ll do the same thing. I kind of have an understanding of Cambridge is not a cheap area, very similar, one of the most expensive markets out there. So congratulations on that.

Maggie: (00:33:08) So we also know that you are the president of the Taiwan youth chamber of commerce in New England, which is an organization committed to providing entrepreneurship, education, and networking for young professionals. And so we’d love to know your involvement with them and how you became president and what type of things you guys are working on over there.

Tania: (00:33:27) Yeah. So I actually started by attending a lot of the events hosted by MTYCCNE because I’m like, I think I just lied to, and that will where people and meeting new people. And I also feel that being the Taiwanese,  I would like to get back to this community as well so that this community definitely has a lot of people from Taiwan or just people who have been living here for a while or were born and raised here. So initially I just kind of saw this organization as a way of networking.

And then since I attended pretty much every event above this organization, so actually the previous president, Amy, Amy, she invited me to be the next president and actually just last year. That’s how I became the president. And we actually, we had a lot of events like pitching ideas and we have funding’s from the, uh, the, uh, Tony’s business association, which is sort of older generation immigrant community that they’ve been living here for a long time. And they did really provide funding to help with the, uh, chamber organization. So we had a lot of fun events that we plan and hosted and also invite different speakers of the community to share the experience. And actually, I think to be right before COVID we hosted this event where we invited this franchise owner to share his franchise experience. I think he had multiple franchises. So he was just telling us about like how he bought franchises and how he got good deals and in how various aspects of the operation. But I think it’s a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs to just be exposed to people who are like seasoned investors or franchise owners.

Bryan: (00:35:09) I guess one of the biggest takeaways from our entire interview right now, it’s I feel like if you’re focused your abilities on one thing, get really good at that. It’s very transferable to everything because what they say is if you do one thing well you do everything well, and I feel like that’s the case if you came from a very strong academic background, you’re a Ph.D. You did that really well. And now you’re like, okay, how can I focus my, the same energy in other things? And because you did one thing, so, well, you have your parents’ confidence that if whatever you choose to do, you’re going to do it really well.  I think that’s a gateway for all of us listening here is your life would not follow like the path that you intended to be most of the time, but both as yourself as growing the skills, having discipline, having a vision, being determined, being greedy that’s very transferrable to any else that she used to do in the future. And that’s one of the key points of like convincing your parents that picking an unconventional path is the right path to go. Because you have like your confidence, to begin with, and whatever you choose to do, they fully believe that you’ll be successful. And that’s what I got away from this interview.

Maggie: (00:36:23) Yeah. I agree just hearing your story, it’s incredibly inspirational. As Bryan said, I feel like you’ve taken experience your experiences and you’ve applied those good habits to every point of your life and now you’re building out your own story, I’m putting that to paper and sharing that with all of your general audience. I think that’s really inspirational. We’d love to ask, what type of advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur they can be in the real estate business or they can just be an aspiring entrepreneur in general and would love to know your advice for them.

Tania: (00:36:57) One of the advice pieces of advice I can give to people in whatever business that you’re trying to undertake is to try to talk to as many people as possible, who did that business and do really well. Because I, early on in my career actually try many different businesses. 

I may have lost money or just didn’t make money, waste my time, and things like that. So I did various things, but at the same time, I’m very grateful for all the success and the failures that I had because we can all learn from like different kinds of businesses. I think I like also like people who try to like diversify their business experience in real estate as one kind of investment, but there are also many different kinds of investments, and they learn different kinds of entrepreneurs.  I think in the end; we all kind of have the same mindset. Like we’re very positive and we try to overcome obstacles. So I definitely think that learning from people like do it or like more recent in the industries is very helpful of it.

Maggie: (00:38:04) Yeah. That’s very important. Especially in our community in AHN too. I feel like as Asians, we tend to not want to get help from other people. It’s like, well, most of the time it’s from our parents telling us like just focus on yourself and you don’t need help from anyone else, but in actuality, we do need help from everyone, and the more help we can get from everyone else and the more help we give to everyone else, that’s how we’re going to succeed together. So we’ll have that. That’s very sound advice for our listeners. How can we learn more about you, Tania?

Tania: (00:39:35) Yeah. So I have my real estate website, taniarealestate.com. So with my upside that has a lot of blog articles that I show people, like all the things that you need to know about, like for some home buyers or the Boston real estate markets, or even just the basics of being oh, sorry. Is the phone disconnected? Oh, okay. Perfect. So yeah, on various resources where people would want to be landlords and different real estate stuff. So the blog articles I wrote and then also my LinkedIn Tania Wu as well as my Instagram as well, Tania Wu Boston, and also my Facebook Tania. So everything basically.

Maggie: (00:40:19) Great. Amazing. All right. We will leave those links in our show notes for this podcast, but it was amazing hearing your story, Tania, and thank you so much for being on today’s podcast show.